SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Scientists are racing to develop a concrete solution to the planet’s ever-growing greenhouse gas problem by actually trapping mineralized carbon dioxide in concrete.

A UCLA research team hopes to win the $20 million Carbon XPrize with an innovation that aims to reduce some of the 37 billion tons of CO2 that are released around the globe each year, according to a 2018 estimate.The team’s concrete wouldn’t absorb CO2 already in the atmosphere, but it would turn industrial emissions into carbonates and incorporate them into the cement, as well as CO2 emissions released during the production of the concrete itself.

The UCLA team is one of 10 that have made it to the final round of competition for the Carbon XPrize, a race to develop sustainable technology that could help reduce carbon emissions. Nearly 40 competitors from all over the world have been in a race for the past two years, and the winner will be announced this fall.